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Business Sense

Is Your Personal Information Safe?

The recent data breach at Equifax has exposed millions of consumers’ private information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, birth dates, and even driver’s license numbers. Equifax has confirmed the data breach lasted almost three months, from mid-May through July.

The Equifax hacking appears to be the largest breach of consumer data in U.S. history. And if you are an adult living in the US who has ever applied for a mortgage, loan, or credit card there’s a good chance that you’re a victim of this hack – it is estimated over 143 million consumers are impacted.

On September 15th, Equifax released an article with specific details of the incident and also announced significant staff changes as a result of the breach. Equifax is also offering one year of free credit monitoring to consumers even if your data has not been exposed in the security breach. To read more details on the Equifax Security statement Click Here.

The Federal Trade Commission, an independent, consumer protection agency of the United States, has published an extensive article about this incident and the steps you should take to protect yourself. To read the article Click Here

Here are some simple steps you can take right away to begin protecting your information:

1. Log in to your online banking regularly to monitor your account activity.

2. Change passwords to accounts that contain personal information.

3. Read your credit card statements carefully.

4. Read all bills to confirm you recognize them.

5. Consider placing a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze on your credit file with each of the major credit bureaus through these links: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

6.Begin monitoring your credit reports either through a credit monitoring service like LifeLock or IDShield or by ordering and checking your free credit reports every few months directly from the credit agencies.

If you are a Flagship Community Bank customer and you suspect your personal information is being used fraudulently, please contact us immediately so that we can assist you in taking steps to protect your accounts held with us.

*By clicking the above links you will be leaving the Flagship Community Bank website. Flagship Community Bank does not endorse, monitor or review the sites you are going to, nor are we responsible for their contents. You should note that the site’s privacy and security policies may be different to ours. We recommend that you review their policies.